Batavia, NY — Batavia Downs will host the 2-year-old pacing fillies on Wednesday afternoon (Aug. 14) when the New York Sire Stakes return for their fifth of nine 2019 stops and the two divisions that will compete for a combined $107,000 in purses look to be very competitive races.
The first division (carded as race four) goes for $53,000 and has Cash Roll (Roll With Joe-Rockonomics) installed as the 2-1 morning line favorite. Cash Roll has won three of five starts this year, two of which were in NYSS action, and currently sits second in points and fourth in earnings. She took her lifetime mark of 1:56 last month at Yonkers in a gate-to-wire, 4-1/4 length romp in the mud. She has outstanding gate speed and loves to cut the mile and after drawing post one for this race, must have her driver Scott Zeron feeling really good about their chances.
Merga Hanover (American Ideal-Magic Starlight) has a similar career path to Cash Roll. She also has three wins to her credit, two in the NYSS, is third in earnings and fourth in points and also likes to be on or near the lead. The only variant to her schedule this week is she picks up Matt Kakaley to drive and he knows the Batavia oval very well. Kakaley and Merga Hanover will leave from post six.
If the front end pace between those two gets hectic, The Fun Marshall (So Surreal-Hallmark Hanover) will be close to pick up the pieces. The Fun Marshall didn’t get her year off to as fast a start as her opponents, but she certainly made a statement on July 11. After sitting a garden spot trip, she closed sharply down the lane to score a lifetime best victory of 1:55.4 at Yonkers over a sloppy track. The Fun Marshall starts from post two with Billy Davis Jr. in tow.
In the $54,000 second division, Racine Bell (So Surreal-Ty’s Artist) brings a stellar resume to post and has been recognized as the favorite by the track handicapper at 5-2 as a result. Racine Bell is the top money earner among her peers and is also tied for the top in points. She has three wins in six starts, hasn’t missed the board all year and comes into this race off a career best tying 1:56.1 win at Yonkers. Her regular driver Jason Bartlett will be in town to drive once again and they will start from post seven for this event.
Turnthefrownaround (Roll With Joe-Knockout Pout) is the second choice at 3-1 but appears to be a real wild card. Although she has the fastest win time of this group this year from a 1:53.3 victory over the five-eighths-mile track at Tioga Downs, she has also made two breaks at Monticello and Yonkers which are both half-milers. She will be on a half Wednesday at Batavia and will have to mind her manners to succeed. Matt Kakaley has been assigned the drive and he starts that task from post five.
Major Battle (Art Major-Savhorsrideacowboy) makes her first NYSS start but recent form shows her potential. Although she exhibited gate speed in her first lifetime start, her last start shows her strong closing ability after she got away eighth by 15 lengths at Woodbine Mohawk Park and paced the final five-eighths of a mile parked-out and closing to finish second in 1:53.3. Jim Morrill Jr. picks up the drive and the pair will start from post four.
There are also three $15,000 divisions of the Excelsior “A” series on the card. Post time for the first race is 5 p.m.